The bottom line is clear: Our vital interests in Afghanistan are limited and military victory is not the key to achieving them. On the contrary, waging a lengthy counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan may well do more to aid Taliban recruiting than to dismantle the group, help spread conflict further into Pakistan, unify radical groups that might otherwise be quarreling amongst themselves, threaten the long-term health of the U.S. economy, and prevent the U.S. government from turning its full attention to other pressing problems. -- Afghanistan Study Group

Friday, April 24, 2009

War News for Friday, April 24, 2009

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Cpl. William C. Comstock died in a non-hostile incident in an undisclosed location in Al Anbar province, Iraq on Wednesday, April 22nd.

The DND/CF is reporting the death of a Canadian ISAF soldier, Major Michelle Mendes in a non-combat incident in her accommodation room at Kandahar Airfield, Kandahar province, Afghanistan on Thursday, April 23rd.

April 22 airpower summary:

U.S. Questions Pakistan’s Will to Stop Taliban:

Pakistani Taliban Pull Back to Swat Stronghold:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Back-to-back suicide bombings killed at least 35 people Friday outside the most important Shiite shrine in Baghdad, police officials said. The bombers Friday detonated explosive belts within minutes of each other near the gates of the tomb of Imam Mousa al-Kazim, a prominent Shiite saint, located in the northern neighborhood of Kazimiyah, said a police official. Another police official said the bombers struck shortly before the start of Friday prayers as worshippers streamed in to the mosquean important site for Shiite pilgrims. About 90 people also were injured in the blast, said the same official.

Officials say at least 60 people were killed when two bombers detonated explosives belts within minutes of each other near the tomb of Imam Mousa al-Kazim in the Kazimiyah area of Baghdad.

#2: Thursday A roadside bomb exploded near juvenile hall in Tobchi, central Baghdad injuring two civilians at 6 p.m.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Two houses belonging to displaced families from Timim tribe were blown up Thursday morning, the first in al Mualimeen neighbourhood, western Baquba and the other in Tahrir neighbourhood in east Baquba. The houses were empty and they belonged to two Shiite families who had intended to return.

#2: Gunmen attacked and killed Sheikh Salih Mustafa Mohammed, sheikh of al Askar tribe in the marketplace in northeastern Baquba at 10 a.m. Thursday.

#3: A roadside bomb targeted Mubarak Hammad al Obaidi, commander of Sahwa in Khalis county. The incident took place in al Atheim district, around 15 km to the north of Baquba Thursday evening. Obaidi and three of his aids were killed and two others were injured.

#4: Two civilians were killed and a third was injured on Friday in a bomb explosion in northeast of Baaquba city, the director of al-Saadiya district said. “An improvised explosive device went off targeting a group pf civilians near a mosque in Taba neighborhood in central al-Saadiya district in south of Khaneqeen, killing two civilians and injuring a third one,” Sheikh Ahmad Zarkoushi told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A fighter from the tribal sahwa (awakening) forces was killed by unidentified gunmen’s fire north of the city of al-Hilla on Thursday, a security source in Babel said. “Unknown gunmen opened fire on a sahwa fighter while he was inspecting sahwa checkpoints in his vehicle at al-Musayyab district, (45 km) north of Hilla, killing him instantly,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Four civilians were wounded when an unidentified gunman threw a hand-grenade at a gathering of local residents in western Mosul city on Thursday, a police source in Ninewa said.
“The gunman managed to escape after the blast that took place in the area of Ras al-Jada, western Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A policeman was killed and three others were wounded Friday in an attack by gunmen on a checkpoint in southern Falluja, a police source said. “An armed group on Friday (April 24) attacked a checkpoint in Ahsa region in Ameriyat al-Falluja district in southern Falluja, where a policeman was killed and three were wounded,” Major Yassin Mohamed told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1 A police officer has died after a bomb inside a package left at a checkpoint in Afghanistan's capital exploded when he opened it. Police stopped a man walking with a large package in southern Kabul before dawn, and the man quickly dropped the box and ran off, said Ahsib Arian, the district police chief. An officer was killed when he looked inside the box, he said.

#2: A roadside bomb killed three Afghan soldiers and wounded five others in Garda Serai district, some 120 km (75 miles) south of Kabul, provincial police chief Aziz Ahmad Wardak said.

#3: The father of Education Minister Farooq Wardak was found alive in Khwaja Omari district of Ghazni province, 120 km (70 miles) southwest of Kabul, five days after being kidnapped.

#4: As many as 11 militants were killed in a operation conducted by the army in the tribal region in Pakistan on Thursday, said an army statement. According to the statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations, 11 confirmed hideouts of militants were targeted in the operation in Chapri Feroze Khel, Khawaja Khizar and Bizoti areas in Orakzai tribal agency and the adjourning tribal areas.